Landscaping for Lawn Drainage: 5 Tips to Consider Before French Drain

Posted by Joe Mouad on Feb 29, 2024 10:00:00 AM

Maybe your plan to deal with your lawn drainage problem is to hope it goes away, and post a sign that says “Do Not Feed the Ducks.”

Sure, that’s the easiest plan. But it won’t solve your drainage problem. And you might have to buy really tall rubber boots.

French drains are often the gold standard to solve drainage problems, but If you’re not crazy about embarking on a whole big thing, that’s understandable.

There are a few things you can try first.

How to improve lawn drainage?

Dock your row boat and let’s take a look:

Do You Need Help with Lawn Drainage? How New is Your House?

If you live in a newer Orlando neighborhood, chances are you need some kind of yard drainage.

Yard drainage here in Orlando is a continuing problem as the city grows. All the dry areas have already been developed, so nearly all the houses in new neighborhoods have drainage problems. The already-wet ground can’t absorb extra water.

standing water in a central florida lawn

New homes also often have poor soil, so water doesn’t seep in as well as it should.

How can you tell?

  • Puddles don’t evaporate.
  • Your grass stays saturated, long after the rain stops.
  • Water pools on your driveway, patios, or sidewalk after you receive rainfall.

Excess water can damage your building’s foundation, erode and crack sidewalks, driveways and retaining walls.

Landscapes that drain poorly can cause problems inside the house, too — especially in your basement.

Too much water creates mold and mildew and causes cracks in interior walls and exterior surfaces. Damp conditions can even encourage mosquitoes and rodents to breed.

We just used mold, mildew, mosquitoes and rats in the same paragraph. Obviously, this is bad.

Use This Guide To Create The Landscape of Your Dreams

How to improve lawn drainage in Central Florida?

Try these solutions:

1. Lawn Aeration

Maybe you’ve heard us talk about the great benefits of lawn aeration for the health of your lawn. It creates holes in a compacted lawn to let important air and nutrients through.

But lawn aeration is great for drainage, too. Think about it: your lawn is suddenly filled with thousands of little holes — perfect for water to trickle down through.

2. Lawn Grading

Grading involves adding, removing or relocating soil around your home in order to redirect the flow of water away from your house.

Even a subtle grading change can make a big difference in your Central Florida lawn drainage.

3. Soil Amendments for Drainage

Is your soil fluffy enough? (Sorry about the technical jargon.)

Sometimes poor soil is too dense and compacted to drain well. Try amending the soil with a top dressing of materials like sand, loam, and compost that water can more easily pass through.

4. Rain Gardens to the Rescue

How to improve lawn drainage and actually dress up your yard? Rain gardens win for the prettiest Central Florida lawn drainage solution.

A rain garden is a shallow depression that’s planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. It encourages excess water to soak slowly into the ground instead of pooling up and causing problems.

Plant a rain garden near a water runoff source like a downspout, roof, or driveway and water soaks into the garden rather than hanging around on your property like your cousin who asked to stay for the weekend and didn’t leave for two months.

5. Dry Creek Beds

A dry creek bed sounds kind of sad, but it’s actually a great drainage solution that also looks nice.

Constructed from rocks ranging in size from river rocks to small boulders, a dry creek bed provides a planned place for extra water to go. Sorry, nature, you don’t get a choice.

When it’s not needed to move excess water to help with your Central Florida lawn drainage, a dry creek bed is a nice landscaping element.

Sometimes, Digging and Pipes Are Needed

How to improve lawn drainage when none of the easier solutions help? The drainage heavy hitters are ready to step up:

Collection Boxes

Collection boxes, also called catch basins, are a Central Florida yard drainage staple.

It’s basically a 12-inch-square box with a grate on top and a drainage pipe that slopes away from the basin.

drainage catch basins wall construction installation

Placed in the ground at a low point on your property, or wherever drainage is a problem, they work pretty simply — water and debris enter the box through the grate. Solids settle to the bottom while water drains out of the pipe and is diverted to the street storm drains.

Pro tip: try these under your downspouts to keep that extra water from pooling around your foundation.

French Drains

Sometimes you need the big guy. A French drain is a gravel-filled trench with a perforated pipe inside.

Typically installed next to your home’s foundation, it uses gravity to divert your yard’s excess water. Water flows into the trench, soaks down through the gravel and into the pipe, which diverts it away from your yard.

landscape installation team installing french drain and yard drainage boxes in a central florida lawn

They’re longer than a collection box, designed to collect water over the entire length of your house if needed, instead of in just one particular spot.

French drains are a lot of work to install, so they’re expensive. Which is why we see you crossing your fingers that one of the easier Central Florida lawn drainage options will solve your excess water woes.

But, good news, there’s another option to consider.

Hello, NDS EZ-Drain

An alternative to the French drain, the NDS EZ-Drain installs without gravel, saving a lot of time and money.

EZ-Drain bundles consist of fabric, lightweight gravel substitute, and pipe. It’s like an entire yard drainage system, bundled neatly together.

It cuts installation time in half by eliminating the need to transport, shovel, and move heavy gravel.

This option drains excess water in much the same way as a French drain, but be aware it can’t handle as much water as the more expansive French drains.

How to Improve Lawn Drainage? Trust Ground Source

If you already have your eye on a great boat, go ahead and treat yourself. But don’t plan on it to deal with your Central Florida lawn drainage problem.

There are better options. Get out of those wet socks and give us a call.

We’re yard drainage experts, and we’re with you every step of the way as you plan your perfect outdoor space.

Sod, irrigation, landscape design: let us transform your yard from an embarrassing eyesore to a place you spend every spare minute.

Are you ready to enjoy the vibrant, impressive yard you've always wanted? Request a quote today! We’ll help you review your options and then transform your property.

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